Primary lymphoma of the thyroid gland accounts for less than 5 percent of all thyroid cancers, and is typically of the non-Hodgkin’s type. When caught early, it is highly treatable.
This type of lymphoma usually arises from the lymph nodes. The thyroid gland is one of the non-lymph node sites from which this cancer can originate. It accounts for 3 percent of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cases.
There is a known association between primary lymphoma of the thyroid and Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune disorder that can lead to hypothyroidism. However, Hashimoto’s disease is very common, and the vast majority of patients with it will never develop lymphoma.
Primary lymphoma of the thyroid sufferers may have a large, fast-growing mass, as well as:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
To diagnose primary lymphoma of the thyroid, a biopsy will be done. There will also be an evaluation performed to determine the extent of the disease, including a complete blood count, bone marrow evaluation, CT scan and PET scan.
The treatment of primary lymphoma of the thyroid includes a combination of chemotherapy and external beam radiation.
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